Why is embryo donation done?

Embryo donation is an option when a couple cannot have a child because one or both partners are dealing with issues like infertility or genetic disorders.

Embryo donation is the process of donating an embryo to an individual or couple unable to conceive via traditional methods. There can be many situations where only egg donation is not enough because the male reproductive cell is not available.

In such cases, receiving an embryo through IVF can help you if you and your partner are struggling to conceive.

What is embryo donation?

An embryo is a mature zygote, or a fertilised egg, which is transferred to the recipient.

A zygote is the final product of fertilisation of the ovum, or the egg, by the sperm cell. This process of fertilisation is performed in a special IVF laboratory. IVF means in vitro fertilisation. The zygote forms an embryo which is placed in the recipient, i.e., the person who is going to undergo the pregnancy. It is called an embryo up to eight weeks of pregnancy.

When is embryo donation required?

Embryo donation is an option for couples or single parents who are unable to conceive. There can be multiple reasons for considering an embryo donation:

  • a couple, where one of them has reproductive issues;
  • a couple, both of them with reproductive issues;
  • a single mother who is unable to use her own eggs;

Embryo donation has proven to be an effective way to conceive a healthy child.

What are the criteria for embryo donation?

Couples who have successfully had a child through IVF or in the traditional way are preferred candidates for the donation program. Embryo donation is a complex legal, emotional, and ethical procedure and all the parties involved go through several criteria tests before the medical procedure.

Using donated embryos to have a child has been a ray of hope for couples dealing with infertility. Donors come forward to donate egg and sperm cells to assist these couples in the process.

Here are commonly observed criteria for those looking to contribute to an embryo donation:

  • The sperm donor should be twenty-one to fifty-five years of age.
  • The egg donor should be twenty-one to thirty-five years of age.
  • The egg donor should have at least one child above three years of age.
  • The donors should get the necessary tests done, like HIV, gonorrhoea, syphilis, and chlamydia.
  • The donors should not smoke or use recreational drugs.
  • The donors are encouraged to have a healthy lifestyle, and higher education for their selection chances and fertility chances to go higher.

Who can donate an embryo?

A single man can decide to donate his sperm, and a single woman can donate an egg. Their cells can be fertilised in an IVF laboratory. In this case, the parties are completely unrelated to each other.

On the other hand, a heterosexual couple can decide to donate their cells to another couple or a single parent. It is preferred for the donor couple to already have conceived a child the traditional way, or through IVF.

What is the process of embryo donation?

In the process of embryo donation, both the donor and the recipient couple should understand the legal and emotional complications that might rise through it. Embryo donation is usually a third-party donation where neither the female egg cell nor the male sperm cell is related to the intended parent(s), that is, the couple receiving the embryo.

  • Donor and recipient profiles are matched.
  • The cycle of the egg donor is synced with that of the recipient with the use of medication.
  • The mature egg is fertilised by the selected sperm cell(s).
  • Zygote forms, and then the embryo.
  • The embryo is put into the recipient's uterus.

What are the rules for embryo donation in India?

  • Only married couples and single women are eligible to receive an embryo donation in India.
  • The clinic helping with ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) should have a license to perform the procedure and must disclose all necessary information to all parties.
  • The donors as well as the embryo recipient must go through all the physical and psychological screening preceding the procedure.
  • It is recommended that both parties consult their lawyers before beginning the procedure.

Read about embryo donation rules in India here.

Infertility is a growing issue among people in the present times. But with the rise of good medicine and medical technology treating infertility has become possible. While the donor parties get monetary compensation, the intended parent(s) are gifted with a chance at parenthood. Embryo donation is an excellent option for couples when there are no possibilities for them to conceive a child in conventionally. IVF is a therapeutic process for couples/parents to want to have a child but cannot. But living in a world of possibilities everyone today has a chance to parenthood.

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